Why You Should Buy Travel Insurance for Your Genoa Vacation

by gabrielelagona | October 26th, 2012

So you’re finally booking that trip to Genoa? Congratulations. There’s much to see and do in the Italian seaport. For example, the Biosfera on the oceanfront recreates a tropical environment, with exotic birds, plants and multi-colored butterflies and is a favorite of children and adults alike. Adults in particular can enjoy the Rubens paintings in the Chiesa del Gesu, a 16th century church that once was the seat of the Jesuit order in the city. Of course, no trip to Genoa is complete without a visit to the Casa della Famiglia Colombo – the restored childhood home of Christopher Colombus. Then there’s the food: Pesto, farinata, pandolce cakes and all sorts of seafood.

So it’s perfectly natural to be excited about that trip you’re booking. You might also feel overwhelmed by everything you’ve got to do, such as learning at least a few phrases in Italian, getting your passport – remember to give yourself plenty of time to do this – and buying luggage and clothes for the vacation. Your departure date will be here before you know it.

But while it’s not as exciting as those other tasks, there’s one other thing you should do before too long. You should consider travel insurance to make certain that your vacation doesn’t get derailed by unforeseen circumstances. Even if you’ve always scoffed at the notion, you might want to ask yourself the following questions.

How confident are you about your flight?

What would you do if your flight – the one taking you to Genoa – is canceled? It happens. From 2004 to 2009, major U.S. air carriers canceled nearly 800 flights. If you don’t have a direct flight, the chances of this happening are even greater. Who will help you find new flights? Are you prepared to pay for lodging and meals while you’re stuck in a strange city?

What happens if you get sick or injured?

You’ve got health insurance, so you’re in good shape if you get sick or injured in Italy, right? Not so fast. Check with your carrier to see whether you have coverage outside the U.S. –  in many cases, you will not. This is particularly true if you’re counting on Medicare. Even if you do have coverage, your health insurance provider almost certainly won’t pay to evacuate you should that be necessary.

What happens if your luggage gets lost?

International law limits liability for lost baggage at a little more than $9 a pound for checked luggage and about $400 per passenger for unchecked bags. Will this be enough to cover the loss of your clothing, computer tablet and other items? Will it cramp your trip?

What if there’s a terrorism incident?

There’s no terrorism in Italy, you might think. You’d be wrong. In May, a bomb exploded outside a school in southern Italy, killing one student and injuring five. The incident occurred at a school named after an anti-Mafia prosecutor killed in a similar bombing 20 years ago. If you cancel your trip because of fears of terrorism, you’ll still be responsible unless you have travel insurance.

Travel insurance allows you to cancel trips for specified reasons and gives you help if you have trouble during your vacation. According to the Insurance Information Institute, typical policies will add between 5% to 7% to the cost of your trip. Is that worth the added peace of mind you’ll have while you enjoying your panna cotta? The answer is up to you.


This article was contributed by Arthur Murray, writer for HomeInsurance.com.

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